Sunday, 29 September 2013

So hey, Sohei; WIP Ronin Sohei

Real quick post, because it's late and I'm exhausted. Started work on the Sohei monks tonight... not too pleased. I think the combination of exhaustion and batch painting has not been good.
Here's where they're at - all eight are around this point at the moment:


Pretty crap :/

I wanted to try and maintain uniformity, as well as getting the whole buntai done quickly, since fully painted forces mean projects complete and that's something pretty rare for me. The models are nice, nothing mind blowing, but very solid, so I don't feel obligated to go all out on a nice paintjob. Even so, I'm not really feeling how they look.
Thoughts? Opinions? Should I relax a bit and accept that some quality must be sacrificed for the sake of just getting them done? Should I repaint them all individually giving them much more attention?
Part of the problem is probably my use of highlighting from the darkest shade... I seem to have much more success starting in the middle and shading down and up, like on my Khador red and dwarf flesh, both of which I love painting and feel are my strongest colours.

Feedback appreciated,
~Alex/Magos

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Ronin, Ronin, Ronin; terrain of an Oriental flavour

Oops, didn't mean to go so long without posting - I've been doing plenty of hobby, but kept putting this post off since I figured I'd wait to have more to show...
Unfortunately, no new painted models. However over the week I did manage to clean, assemble and prime:

5 man'o'war shocktroopers
5 Enforcer troops (cerberus for ME)
Black Ivan
8 Sohei figures for Ronin
10 Bandit figures for Ronin

...

Yeah, I may have bought into yet another new game. Oops. Are you surprised? Probably not if you've followed this blog at all...
A rather excellent modelling log on WAU reminded me of Ronin, which has just been released by Osprey (who also pulbished IHMN). My interest piqued, I researched the game and thought it sounded cool, and my decision was sealed when the same day, my mate Dan at Tabletop Empires got a bunch of Ronin starters in stock. I immediately ordered the rulebook and two starters, and they arrived yesterday (as always, fantastic service from TE). I'm pretty keen to play some Ronin now, since the rules seems simple yet elegant, with a unique combat system that has a bit more flexibility than a traditional 'I make X attacks, you make Y attacks' system.
Anyway, in preparation for Ronin, I got stuck into making some Japanese themed scenery. Being pretty unfamiliar with the details of Japanese architecture/culture of this period, I've relied on mimicking the look of other people's terrain for the era, and I'm fairly happy with how mine have turned out, considering the extremely low amount of money they cost (probably ~$15-20 materials for all of them). If I enjoy Ronin I'd like to build some more suitable terrain, rice paddies, walls, and some more elaborate buildings with interiors to fight in. But for now, some simple town houses and hovels will suffice.
Unfortunately, my camera struggles with photos when not in macro mode. The flash washes everything out, but without it, blurrrrrrrr. Might try some photos in the daylight and see if that makes a difference.
Pics:



Stacking buildings equals way less storage space needed! 'ent I clever.


I also put paint to a piece of Warmachine terrain I built... last year I think. Yeah, slow progress. It still needs a fair bit of detailing, and a roof, but it's getting there slowly. I should have taken a shot next to one of the Japanese buildings, which are more realistically scaled... this sucker's huge!


Anyway, thanks for reading, hopefully I'll have some painted models to show soon!
For now though, one last thing... my beloved Hawks won the grand final! Oh yeah baby, 2013 premiers!


We're a happy team at Hawthorn, we're the mighty fighting Hawks! One for all and all for one, that's how we play at Hawthorn!

Cheers, and commiserations to any Fremantle fans,
~Alex/Magos

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Bones, Bloodbowl, Battles; hobbying hard on Sunday

Today was a good day for all things hobby. Managed to wrangle my brother (and only gaming opponent in town) away from his year 12 studies and video games for a day of painting and gaming. Want to try and do it more often, so hopefully can make it a weekly thing or something.
He painted up some bones, since he hasn't painted in over a year and really just needed to have some practice. I tried brush on primer this time and it worked better, no lingering tackyness, although the white on white meant I didn't get a perfect coat and this plastic just hates paint with a passion. Really not a fan of it at all.

Anyway, in an hour or two of paint jamming together he finished this:


While I got to work on the first of my Bloodbowl figures.

Yeah that's right, Bloodbowl.

Basically, the Wargamers Massive down in Melbourne, of whose trolly ranks I am an honorary member, are having a Bloodbowl tournament in November. I stuck my hand up to attend, mainly for the excuse of getting down to Melbourne for a weekend of gaming. Only problem? Well, aside from one game ten years ago, I've never played Bloodbowl, don't own a team and don't know the rules...
Well, the team was easy to fix - I have always loved dwarves, and settled on a Slayer themed team using the awesome Avatars of War slayers. The rules are a work in progress, but thanks to the Bloodbowl video game, I'm getting there. By November I shall be an unstoppable force. Or not.
Anyway, here is the first test figure for the team, the Zhufbar Barbarians. I am VERY happy with the skin, it was fun to paint and looks great IMO. I'm much less happy with the cloth and metal... yeah, just wasn't feeling it. What do people think? Am I being over critical, or should I repaint them?
Finally, tattoos, not something I'm good at painting. Do they work?




And after all the painting, we knocked up two 35pt lists and smashed some face in Warmachine. My Khador (proxying Vlad for Harkevich) won the day, though we were both a bit rusty and my bro made a few mistakes that probably cost him.

Only one (bad, flashy) photo, showing the glorious moment when my Berserker, having charged and mauled the Scythian, detonated. I'd given him a single point of focus using Power Booster, and predictably, I rolled a 1. It was funny, and almost killed the Scythian, so wasn't much of a loss.


Anyway, long post. Thanks for reading,

~Alex/Magos

Friday, 20 September 2013

The Defenders of Caspia; my painted Cygnar

It's been a few days since I posted, but for once, I've not spent that time totally slacking off and playing video games (nor have I been working, annoyingly). I've been hobbying away, mostly on some of my newest acquisitions (I somehow ended up with a few more Khador jacks... actually a whole 'nother WM starter box... oops), but unassembled, unpainted models aren't very exciting. I should have photos tomorrow or the day after (tomorrow is my old man's birthday, so I'll be heading into town for lunch at an awesome craft brewery... they make the most delicious malt stout).
This is rapidly turning into the Post of the Parentheses, so I'll move on.
In the interest of providing painted models for your viewing pleasure, I have again raided the archives and taken new photos of old models. But before we get to that, there is one important thing I have to add...

GO THE MIGHTY HAWTHORN HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tonight, for the first time in five damned years, my beloved Hawks beat our arch nemeses, the Geelong Cats. In a preliminary final too. WOOOHOOO!!!

Ahem, ok, regular transmission is resuming.

Allow me to present the only three painted models of my tiny Cygnar force, all painted long ago (6-18mths):

El Lancero


Monsieur le Chaingunner (his loader is still awaiting painting)


And the rakish gunslinger himself, Captain Caine


Thanks for reading, hopefully I'll have more exciting things to share tomorrow/Sunday.

~Alex/Magos

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Y'know, Just Jackin' It; finished Khador Warjack

Finished the Destroyer, pretty happy with him, though I might need to do something more with the base, seems a little bare. The tree stump is actually a tribute to my original metal destroyer, who also had a tree stump attached to his base. I wish I had a photo of that old chunk of pewter to show how vastly my painting has improved since then.

Anyway, pikachures:





With some meatbag friends:


Thanks for reading,

~Alex/Magos

Thursday, 12 September 2013

For the Swarm; Bones swarms and random WIPS

Well, a few days off work and I've actually been slightly productive! I'll get straight into pics, since I don't really have much to waffle about... Oh, except this blog passed 1k views a few days ago. Thanks to everyone who reads my intermittent rambling :)

Some more Bones. Fear the swarm!



I realised I rarely post WIPs on here... usually because I finish things in one sitting I guess. Anything that takes longer usually languishes for months/years due to my lack of anything resembling an attention span... but anyway, the following pics are just WIP, needing basing/touching up, so you'll see them again soon hopefully.

Firstly, I painted some more WOTR infantry. It's been far too long, but hopefully I'll get back to this game soon. I've been rewatching a lot of Game of Thrones lately... coincidence, or inspiration?
These guys are Burgundian handgunners, mercenaries for the Yorkists.



And finally, one of the several Khador heavy jacks I need to paint. The humble, faithful destroyer. I used to own a pair of the metal ones, but the new (well, old now I guess) plastics are a big improvement. I still miss Warmachine Mk1 though...
I don't think the photos do it justice really, I'm very happy with the red though. I use the 'official' method, as given in the Khador faction book. Obviously I'm not up to studio quality, but it's a method of painting red that I love. Given what a pain of a colour it can be, I'm happy to have something reliable that works.
I know that, given all the large plates, it would probably make sense to airbrush these jacks, but personally I find that if I airbrush them, the metals just become a massive pain. I'd rather paint the metals first, then do the plates by hand.



And finally, my Mantic Enforcer army set finally arrived, courtesy of the always excellent Dan of Tabletop Empires. These guys will be serving as Cerberus troops in my Mass Effect skirmish game (some may also become Blue Suns), so expect more on that front soon.

Thanks for reading,
~ Alex/Magos

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Bones, Bones, Bones, Bones; four more Bones painted

Time for a proper photodump.
Over the week I got around to undercoating a handful more bones to paint. Unfortunately, the undercoat didn't seem to react well to the plastic of the Bones, and even several days later it's still feeling faintly tacky, though I didn't have any trouble painting over it. The problem is with the plastic, not the paint, given that the other models I undercoated at the same time dried fine. Honestly, having played around with, and painted, a few of the Bones now, my opinion of the material isn't very high. I wish Reaper had used the much better hard plastic used by companies such as Privateer Press and Mantic. The Bones are simply too soft, though there is a fair bit of inconsistency here - some models are soft and rubbery, others are much firmer. On the plus side, the models do at least have reasonable detail, and should be durable gaming pieces. Still, I wouldn't pay retail price for them. The bargain KSer price is worth it, but otherwise I'd just buy the metals.

Anyway, leaving aside the problems of the material, here are some pics of the whole lot laid out. Lots of models!


And for good measure, my Infinity artbook (shiny!)


So, as I said, I undercoated a handful of bones, and got around to painting them tonight. Given the limitations of the models, I've kept these ultra quick and simple, nothing fancy. About an hour per model, give or take. They should do fine for RPGs/skirmish games though.

The bronze beast - a mighty evil warrior? A demon bound to a suit of armour? An ancient golem brought to life to guard forgotten treasure?


A mage in shiny robes (coat of matte varnish still doesn't stop the shine of dark blue *grumble*)


An ancient lich, the glow effect ended up looking more like verdigris... oh well.


And a well armoured rogue, plate armour won't help those sneak rolls.


So there we go, four more bones down. Sure, they're pretty poor paintjobs, but there's something enjoyable about just knocking out random models with no need to worry about making them look good, or follow a scheme.

Thanks for reading,
~ Alex/Magos

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

A Barwench, and a pile of Bones; Reaper Bones KSer arrives

I'd been planning on my next post being for another FF mini that I'm currently painting, but I didn't get it finished, and then I spent the whole day in Canberra today, seeing the Turner exhibition at the National Gallery. When I got home, I had a long awaited, and very large, box of awesome waiting for me - my Vampire pledge from the Reaper Bones Kickstarter.
So now I have ~250 new models, including the colossal dragon Kaladrax, sitting on my bed. Pics to come of the haul tomorrow, but in the meantime, I've been plucking random models out of the lot and inspecting them. I'm very pleased with the results, especially considering they cost ~$0.50c a model! The casts are good and detailed, the material is... well, not the best, but not unusable either. These are gaming pieces first and foremost, the material is quite soft, reminiscent of the cheap 1:72 airfix style plastics. That said, the models seem robust and as I said, the detail is far superior to any of those soft plastic kits. Quite a few of the models have bent weapons etc, but these should be very easy fixes using hot water.
So basically, first impressions are favourable, the models are very serviceable gaming pieces, and the huge range and dirt cheap price are great. They can't compete with the metal originals as painting pieces, but that's alright, and I'm still looking forward to painting them.

Speaking of which... I couldn't resist whipping out the brushes and testing out one of Reaper's claims about the models, that they can be painted without priming. I picked out an insignificant victim, a barmaid, and got to work.


Conclusion after the first layer - priming is still needed. Despite giving the model my usual scrub under water to remove any mold release, the paint simply did not want to stick to the bare plastic, which is what I expected really. I persevered and eventually got a decent enough coverage for a basecoat. I then gave her a wash and single layer of highlights...


She's not pretty for sure, but she'll do as an extra in an RPG scene or an objective in a skirmish game. I only spent about half an hour on her, once you ignore the drying time, so not too bad. Tomorrow I'll prime some of the other models, and maybe stress test the paint on this one to see how well it sticks...

Plenty more Bones to come, 1 down, 249ish to go...

~ Alex/Magos